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Clumsy Freedom

Well, one of the most crucial times in construction has proven itself pretty hard to get a blog in edge-wise.  That mixed with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, and certain extended vacations by various city officials… yeah, it’s been fun.  Hope everyone had a great holiday break.  We stayed here and played doggie daycare for one that likes to bark super loud out of nowhere and the other that is so freaked out by people, she hides in the back of our yard and tries to dig herself to freedom.  Good times.  My sister also decided to move to LA with a friend.  They spent a week traveling out and then she got a job in the Bahamas a day after being here.  If you’re reading this, I’m so proud of you for following your dreams.  Happy Birthday.  All in all a great break.  Traffic was amazing.

The building is coming along nicely.  They’re done with the flooring on the 2nd floor and half-way done with it on the 1st.  Paint is done now on the first and primed for paint on the 2nd.  Paint in the North building is totally complete.  All of the lights, toilets, sinks, fixtures, outlets, switches, exit signs (we have way way way too many exit signs… some even right next to each other… whatever passes code at this point), water fountains, and hall sconces are installed.  The HVAC units are getting their final ducting work done today and tomorrow.  They’re connecting them from the roof to the rooms today.  Refrigerant lines were completed today.  That was a big deal, because they had to go to the roof from every room.  I’m sure we’ll find some cool satin sash to decorate them.  Here’s to the ozone… just kidding, it’s the new stuff.

Handrails for the stairs are nearly complete.  We had to compromise the look we wanted because unbeknownst to us, Mother Earth doesn’t produce a wood that takes a 180 degree bend within about 3 inches.  She does make a fine metal product though.  I think I might like it better.  Who doesn’t love California Building Code?  Not me.  I do not don’t love it.

We poured concrete for the curbs on our new parking spaces.  Then we poured asphalt all in it.  Then we parked 7 more cars on top.  Yeah we did.  Oh, the reason we did that is because the playground is now all cut up.  They did all the cutting last week and removed huge chunks of asphalt.  We now have what will end up being a dry sandbox, a wet sandbox, another sandbox, a garden area, a stage, a few arbors, some roofing, some fencing, and an underground man-cave for dads missing Sports Center because they had to bring the kids to school.  Moms, if you’re that upset about missing Sports Center, we (as a collective) will be interviewing for open spots.

Our elevator fire doors came in last week and are now installed.  We’re getting school outfitting deliveries like it’s our job.  I guess it is our job.  Crystal has spent the last few days ordering toys, supplies, materials, and furniture.  Those things are slowly being delivered to our house… yep, our house.  Nine classrooms worth.  At our front door.  Lovely.  I think Helen will be getting some of it, too.  Hey, if you’re getting an itch to help out, I’m sure extra hands could be used in putting together furniture.  Unless you’re super uncoordinated and clumsy… then nevermind.  Oh also, in case you were worried about exposing your kids improper automotive brands, I’ve got Crystal trained to not be ordering any Ford toys… only Chevy, Dodge, and GMC.  We’ve had a few close calls.  Ford-less.

Finally had a chance to use a gift from our old Cassidy family of teachers this past week.  They had bought us night at the Bacara in Santa Barbara at the end of last year.  I know quite a few of you read this, so thank you.  It was amazing and the thought doesn’t go unnoticed.  Crystal and I are firm believers in finding a balance in life.  While we’ve been all out for the past 6 months, it was nice to sit on a balcony and look at the ocean and stars… then we cracked our computers and didn’t talk for the rest of the night… just kidding.  Kinda.

During the day, we had hit up a few wine tasting rooms.  Found one that grows in Sonoma and is going to private label a brand for us… so that’s exciting.  I’ve always wanted to own a vineyard and this is as good as it gets… for now.  As we were walking from one to the other, I noticed a little bourbon tasting room.  Yeah, I stopped in.  Best part?  Eavesdropping.  Heard a guy who was tasting talking about how he needed to get the room some speakers that his company made.  My ears perked up.  “What kind of speakers?” “Sonos,” he said.  I’m sure my mouth dropped.  I told him about Piper and the music we’ll have piped around.  Told him we had 21 zones.  He pulled out his card and said, “Let me know what you need.”  Now, I think it might go without saying that I’m a Sonos nerd, but this was just one of many things happening to us that let’s me know we’re meant for this.  It happened as we opened our last school.  It’s happening now.

Keep that mail coming… but don’t use the 807 address just yet.  I get photos everyday of 10-15 applications.  It’s kinda nuts, and I love seeing it.  We’re getting web traffic from all across the globe now.  We’ve even had some international applications.  Royalty even… whaaaaat?  Yep.

Follow us on Twitter, we’re super funny.  Like us on Facebook, before they go out of business.  Book drive starts soon.  Pick all of those books you really don’t like, send them to the cleaners, and then bring them to school.  It’s getting so close.  We’re already getting videos of how excited the kids are to be coming… very sweet.  I can’t wait to see them at Piper.

Just got off of a GoToMeeting where we were talking about enrollment for this year and next.  We already have 170 families enrolled.  That’s just crazy.  I had no idea.  I’ve been in the construction bubble for too long.  You might not know it, but people are still having kids these days.  I think there are enough to go around.  Glad to be part of that mix.

In an age of ever-changing marketing strategies, links for applications that don’t work, and flattering imitations, I am proud of how simple and grounded Piper already is.  You families are amazing.  Your support seems undying.  We’ve wanted to stay as pure and honest as possible in creating our second school, and you have made that amazingly easy for us.  I see it everyday.  I see it in emails, cards, applications, and letters.  And with all of that, I’ll never really be able to tell each one of you how honored we are to be part of your child’s life.  How that in our eyes, we’re the lucky ones to be doing this for a living.  This is going to be an amazing journey for all of us, for years to come.  I’m ever grateful for your confidence, your love, and your support.  Here’s to a new year, a new outlook, and a new reason to shine.  I’ve said it before.  Go shine.  Don’t stop.